BMW Bolts, Volkswagen Trannies, Ford Misfires

Your recall roundup for the week of 4/10 to 4/17.

BMW has an active recall on almost half a million vehicles, due to an issue with an engine bolt. It affects vehicles all over the world, all of which are equipped with the N55 inline-six engine that includes both VANOS and Valvetronic systems. Evidently, bolts holding the VANOS unit in place might loosen up, sending the engine into a low-power "limp mode" or throwing a check-engine light. Worst case scenario, the car will either stall out or not start up at all.

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Recallmageddon: Toyota Recalls Six Million Cars

Never mind recall themes, the theme is now recalls.

We apologize for the onslaught of recall-related news in the past few weeks. However, with the typical pre-auto-show lack of automaker-supplied news, and with GM currently being fed to the lions in Congress, that's the topic du jour. And before it gets better, it'll get worse. Just this week, Toyota announced a recall that covers six million vehicles worldwide.

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Finally, Some Positive Safety News for GM

The IIHS has favorable words for the General's midsize crossovers.

We're glad to announce that this story, which centers around General Motors, does not include any mention of recalls or even anything remotely negative. A breath of fresh air, right? It's all thanks to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS); two midsize GM crossovers are scoring high marks in the Institute's incredibly tricky small-overlap crash test.

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Mercedes Plans to Help First Responders

Rescue Assist will make everybody's job a little easier.

Cutting into a car with the Jaws of Life isn't exactly easy. It's easy in the sense that the tool can quickly make its way through a car's outer shell to rescue a trapped individual. However, once you realize that modern cars are loaded with high-voltage wires, explosive airbags, and all sorts of other dangers, it can become a risky proposition. That's what Mercedes-Benz is trying to fix with its Rescue Assist program.

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Road Salt Contributes to the Latest Ford Recall

Big Blue Oval must have been feeling left out of the recall race.

Even though spring is on the way, winter is still rearing its ugly head in different forms. This time, the salt we use to keep our roads clear of ice has been contributing to some corrosion issues for Ford, a problem they've faced in the past, albeit on different models. Between that and a new seatback recall, Ford's looking at about half a million vehicles that need to head back to the dealership.

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Spiders and Brakes: Two New Mazda Recalls

Arachnids and humans share a love for gas-powered cars.

A while back, we covered a Toyota recall that involved spiders making their way into places they shouldn't be. While that seems like a silly reason for a recall, these eight-legged buggers can cause some decent damage in the right spot. Now, it's Mazda's turn to deal with spiders (along with one other issue), as the automaker has issued two new recalls this month.

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